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College of DuPage Offers Path to CPA Certification

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By Mike McKissack

The Advanced Accounting certificate program at College of DuPage prepares students to sit for the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Aimed at CPA exam candidates who have already earned a baccalaureate or higher degree in a business-related major other than accounting, the Advanced Accounting certificate program requires participants to complete 30 to 32 credit hours covering a variety of topics, including financial and managerial accounting, auditing, and federal taxation. Upon completion of the program, participants are eligible and well-prepared to sit for the CPA exam.

According to Accounting program Coordinator Maureen McBeth, the program provides students at different levels of educational and professional experience the opportunity to break into or move forward in the accounting field.

“We get three types of students: those who have earned a bachelor’s in accounting who are looking for the extra credits to satisfy the 150 credits required to sit for the exam; professionals who have earned a bachelor’s degree in a different field who are looking to change careers or open up more options; and those who earn the credential as a way to enter the workforce in an entry- to mid-level accounting job,” McBeth said.

McBeth said there are several elements that set the Accounting program at COD apart from similar programs.

“All of our professors hold master’s degrees and are licensed CPAs,” she said. “We are also unique in that almost every class required for this credential is offered each semester so students can go through the program year-round. In addition, the Advanced Accounting certificate program appeals to many people who are currently working. The program offers great flexibility in that all classes can be taken in online and hybrid formats, as well as in traditional classroom settings, including weeknight and weekend offerings.”

Karen Andrews, Senior Vice President, Professional Services/Commercial Banking at MB Financial Bank, a premier middle market commercial bank, completed the Advanced Accounting certificate program with one goal in mind. She wanted to obtain an update on the topics and classwork sufficient to enable her to sit successfully for the CPA exam. Having previously earned a B.A. in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.B.A. with concentrations in Finance and Accounting from Benedictine University, as well as having 25 years of experience as a commercial banker, Andrews said she was very pleased with her experience in the program.

“My experience with the Advanced Accounting certificate program was terrific,” Andrews said. “I was so impressed with the professors’ knowledge of the material and their ability to help me focus my studies. It was also helpful to hear about their work experience and how they have utilized their CPA credential in this profession.”

The Naperville resident said while the classes were challenging and prepared her well for the CPA, the biggest challenge was managing her time while balancing the program classes while working full time. She said the support of her instructors was invaluable.

“During this journey, I met many instructors, who influenced me and motivated me in my pursuit to finish the program and earn my CPA,” she said. “Maureen McBeth and Accounting Professor Joe Moran are two people who inspired me most to continue through the program.”

Andrews said that in addition to the knowledgeable and supportive instructors, she also appreciated meeting other students who were on a similar path.

“We went through the program together and helped each other out,” she said. “It was very motivating to me that we were all able to support each other during this time.”

Andrews said she would highly recommend the Advanced Accounting certificate program.

“This program is perfect for anyone who would like to sit for the CPA exam or who is interested in bolstering their knowledge or obtaining a job in the accounting profession,” she said.

The Uniform CPA Exam is designed to provide assurance to the State Boards of Accountancy that those who pass possess the level of technical knowledge and the skills necessary for initial licensure in protection of the public interest. Comprising four sections, the exam tests participants’ knowledge on auditing and attestation, business environments and concepts, financial accounting and reporting and legal regulations. Successful completion of the exam is required to qualify for licensure as a CPA in any of the 55 U.S. jurisdictions.

Click here for more information about the CPA exam.

The Accounting program at College of DuPage provides fundamental and advanced education and practice in accounting principles and skill sets, as well as in areas such as business, computers, mathematics and taxation. In addition to the Advanced Accounting certificate program, COD also offers certificate programs in Accounting and Clerical Accounting, as well as an A.A.S. degree in Accounting and a transferrable A.A. degree with an accounting emphasis. For students pursuing an A.A.S. degree at COD, the College has partnered with Benedictine University to provide an innovative 3+1 transfer program that provides an affordable, convenient and streamlined path to earning a B.A. in Management.

Click here for more information about the Accounting program at College of DuPage.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

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